Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Saundra Mitchell Interview + Contest!
Today Saundra Mitchell is here! Her debut novel, Shadowed Summer, is released today! Congratulations, Saundra! I can't wait to get myself a copy because it looks wonderful. :)
What inspired you to write Shadowed Summer?
The main character, Iris, showed up in my head one day. She sort of loomed there for a while, not doing anything. She was just present. Finally, I got tired of the looming and decided I would write a book about a girl who falls in love with a ghost. That's the point at which Iris balked- she wasn't going to fall in love with a ghost, no way, no how. And she didn't- I guess she knew more than I did, huh?
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I had already been selling articles, stories, gaming modules, and screenplays for several years, before it occurred to me that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I mean, it should have been obvious- I was writing professionally, and writing fanfic for fun, all writing, all the time. But I was oblivious there for a while. Maybe that's why Iris didn't say anything at first?
How did Shadowed Summer change from the first to final drafts?
So many ways! Some characters were excised completely, other characters changed gender, the ending is completely different... It also lost about 30,000 words from the very bloaty first draft, to the very lean version on shelves now! That's why they say writing is revising, I reckon!
What kind of music do you listen to? Do you listen to a certain playlist when you write?
I have a playlist for each book I write. Music that captures the right rhythm and mood- I actually have the soundtrack I used for Shadowed Summer up right here: http://www.shadowedsummer.com/soundtrack.html. Usually, this works out well for me, but sometimes I end up going into unexpected places. I'm not a big country fan, but one of the books I'm working on right now, the soundtrack is almost entirely country because it's right for the characters and the mood.
What was your favorite part of high school? Least favorite part?
I enjoyed acting in high school, and that was really the full extent of what I liked about it. My high school experience was an exercise in calling shenaningans on the clueless adults who claimed these would be the best years of my life.
Who has inspired you the most in your writing career?
My best friend Wendi; she keeps me right, and true and going every single day.
Who are your favorite young adult authors? Favorite young adult books?
Oh man. Well, I love John Green and Meg Rosoff; Maureen Johnson and Suzanne Collins; S.E. Hinton and Annette Curtis Klause- this list will be forty seven feet long if I keep going. But among my favorite YA books are The Outsiders, The Silver Kiss, Looking for Alaska, how i live now, The Bermudez Triangle, Luna by Julie Anne Peters, and forthcoming- The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan and Dull Boy by Sarah Cross. They're gonna knock your socks off in 2009!
Valentine's Day is coming up here soon... what is your favorite Valentine's Day memory?
My favorite memory perpetually refreshes itself. Every year, the day after Valentine's Day, I can buy my favorite fancy candy 75% off!
What is your advice to aspiring teen authors?
Write fan fiction. Fandom is the best place to make friends, and to learn your craft. It's also a great place to collect voices and perspectives from all over the world, which can only make the art of your writing better.
Ask yourself a question and answer it. :)
Q: What kind of candy are you buying this year in the after V-Day sales?
A: Man, I have been addicted to pralines all winter, but I might have to
fall back on dark chocolate truffles!
Thanks for having me, Hope! :D
Thank you, Saundra. :)
Saundra has kindly donated some bookmarks for me to give away! Comment on this post to be entered to win one bookmark. There will be nine winners. :)